Internet Australia Comments on Site-Blocking Court Action

Internet Australia, the not-for-profit peak body representing internet users, believes that it is time to accept the pointlessness of current strategies to deal with content piracy.

This follows reports that the lawyers for the rights holders in the Dallas Buyers Club case have accepted defeat and confirmation that long running disagreements over the government’s proposed copyright notice scheme have failed to be resolved.

“It would be in the best interests of content producers, as opposed to content distributors, if we all accepted that the main reason why most people unlawfully download is that they can’t get what they want through legitimate channels. There is ample research evidence that people are willing to pay if they can get the content they’re after. In fact, surveys show that the people who ‘pirate’ are also among the most active legal downloaders”, commented CEO Laurie Patton.

“There is little evidence from overseas that these warning notice schemes actually work and that are quite expensive to administer. Understandably, then, why would either party want to bear the costs of running something that isn’t going to achieve much? It is not surprising, therefore, that the copyright notice scheme hasn’t materialised”, Mr Patton added.

Internet Australia also noted that the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) recently published its latest report on countries it believes should better protect the interests of the copyright industry.

“Guess what? Australia isn’t on the watch list, so clearly we are not seen as a major offender by world standards”.

Full report:
Watch list:

“Internet Australia believes content should be available and easily accessible at reasonable prices comparable with similar markets overseas. We maintain that this is the appropriate reaction to unlawful downloading.

We support intellectual property rights but we don’t believe that using the Internet to bock content is appropriate. We also support calls for reform of copyright law, which we have previously argued is long overdue.

We remain opposed to the ‘site blocking’ law introduced last year and have argued that the Government should conduct a formal review of its effectiveness two years after its enactment (2017), if not sooner.

This law has been around for more than six months and the rights holders are yet to use it. Apparently we are to expect something very soon, however the legislation came into effect more than six months ago.

If the rights holders and their local representatives truly saw this as a serious issue you’d reckon they’d have had their lawyers burning the midnight oil within days of the site-blocking law’s enactment”.



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